Commemoration for Viscount Glentworth Held at St Mary’s Cathedral Propeller Presented to Limerick Civic Trust

The centenary of the death of Viscount Glentworth was commemorated at St Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday 8th April 2018. Originally from Pallaskenry, he died when his plane was shot down during World War 1.

At the commemoration, a wooden propeller fashioned into a cross was presented by the Pery family, who have strong ties to Limerick, to the Limerick Civic Trust. The propeller will be put on display in a new military museum which Limerick Civic Trust is hoping to open next year.

Among the Pery family in attendance were Sylvia Countess of Limerick CBE and her son, Edmund, 7th Earl of Limerick, who are both patrons of Limerick Civic Trust.

Edmond Claude de Vere Pery, Viscount Glentworth was raised at Dromore Castle, Pallaskenry. He served in World War I as a soldier and airman and died in 1918 aged 23, shot down over the Western Front in France. 

His sister Lady Victoria Pery who was a distinguished aviatrix in her own right died in 1919 of the Spanish Flu. Both are commemorated on the rood screen erected in their honour in the Cathedral.

Speaking at the presentation, David O’Brien, CEO, Limerick Civic Trust said “We are extremely grateful to the Perry Family for this donation. The propeller will be a fantastic addition to the artefacts we are gathering for our museum project at St Munchin’s Church that will help tell Limerick’s military history, in all its guises, from the time of the Siege of Limerick right up to the world war.”

“Our campaign to gather other unique artefacts with a strong Limerick connection is gathering momentum and we are delighted to announce that we are due to receive some documents relating to the structure of the city which we will be making available to UL’s Glucksman Library for research and documentation,” he concluded.

Help us Restore St Munchin’s Church

We are currently restoring the historically important St. Munchin’s Church and converting it into a museum. The aim is to use the church as a Local Military Museum commemorating the regiments of Limerick since the siege in 1691 to today. This project will provide a home for two very historically significant collections. We are happy with our progress to date but we need financial support if we are to open this museum by our target date of 2019.

We need your support to continue

Since the early 1990’s, Limerick Civic Trust was entrusted to take care of St. Munchin’s Church and graveyard on King’s Island. This now deconsecrated church was once home to the 6th Century monk who was a contemporary of St. Patrick. A newer church replaced a crumbling oratory in 1827 and was designed by the Pain Brothers. Up until recently, Limerick Civic Trust used this space as a training centre and a hub where local groups could use the space to launch art exhibitions and the like.

When the conversion to a museum is complete, we will exhibit the Armstrong military collection as well as the Carrol Collection, which is currently housed in our headquarters at Bishop’s Palace. To expand the museum’s offering, we are also working with several interested parties on the repatriation of other artefacts of Irish historical significance from abroad back to Ireland, just like the Bannatyne staircase – a World War 1 memorial that has been donated by Cotswold’s District Council in the UK.

Brian McLoghlin, Chair of Limerick Civic Trust, explains, “Our vision for the museum is to tell the military history of Limerick from the time of the Siege of Limerick forward. The siege was the last stand of a great European war and Limerick’s part hasn’t been properly recorded.

The opening of St Munchin’s Church as a museum and visitor attraction centre will greatly enhance our medieval quarter offering. It will be a place for tourists but also something new for local residents and schools to learn more about their local history through a hands-on learning experience.”

As with all large historic building projects, the conversion is costly and Limerick Civic Trust is dependent on external support. All donations, however large or small, will helps us achieve our target of opening next year. Whether it is a €20, €200 or €2000 donation, personal, corporate or philanthropic, all are gratefully received and will be personally acknowledged. 

Likewise, if you wish to make a larger donation or if you might know of others that would like to support the project in a broader capacity or alliance, we would be delighted to engage.

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Historic ‘Bannatyne’ Staircase Gifted to Limerick Civic Trust

Cotswold District Council (CDC) will fund the removal of an historic oak staircase from the Cotswold’s Old Memorial Hospital and transfer it to the custodianship of the Limerick Civic Trust.

The staircase – which is regarded as an official war memorial – was originally donated to the hospital by the Limerick-based family of Major Edgar James Bannatyne, who was a member of the Royal Flying Corps during World War 1 and died at Rendcomb airfield in the Cotswolds in 1917.

The Old Memorial Hospital is being demolished and the Cotswold District Council wanted to ensure that the staircase was preserved for posterity. The line of the family has now died out but they are remembered as leading merchants who helped to bring prosperity to Limerick.

Limerick Civic Trust will honour the memory of the Bannatyne’s by installing the staircase into St Munchin’s Church on Church Street in King’s Island, which contains a number of graves and monuments commemorating the Bannatyne family. The Trust is currently converting the Church into a Military Museum.

David O’Brien, CEO, Limerick Civic Trust, said “We are very grateful that Cotswold District Council has agreed to give us custodianship of this historic staircase. For over 30 years Limerick Civic Trust has been involved with the conservation and preservation of our heritage, so we very much appreciate the origins and story behind the Bannatyne staircase. We are delighted to be able to provide a very fitting home for the staircase in St Munchin’s Church which we are currently converting into a museum, allowing us to ensure this unique war memorial will be open to the public.”

St Munchin’s Church was built in 1827 and was renovated in 1980 by Limerick Civic Trust.  When the conversion to a museum is complete, the Trust plans to exhibit two military collections already in its care – the Carrol Collection, which is currently housed in Trust’s headquarters at Bishop’s Palace, and the Armstrong collection. To expand the museum’s offering, the voluntary organisation is working with several interested parties on the repatriation of other artefacts of Irish historical significance from the UK back to Ireland, just like the Bannatyne staircase.

David O’Brien explained,Our vision for the museum is to tell the military history of Limerick from the time of the Siege of Limerick forward. The siege was the last stand of a great European war and Limerick’s part hasn’t been properly recorded. The Carrol Collection gives us one vista into this colourful military history. This collection was gifted to the Limerick Civic Trust by June O’Carroll Robertson, a descendant of the Carrol’s of Tulla and Lissenhall in Co Tipperary. We believe there are other families in the UK who would consider donating items of historical interest with a connection to Limerick. Artefacts related to the military history of the region are of particular interest to us.

Cllr Nick Parsons, the Deputy Leader of CDC, comments:The Council will be demolishing the Old Memorial Hospital and we wanted to ensure that this magnificent staircase was preserved for posterity.  Placing it in storage would have deprived the public of a magnificent war memorial and we are very pleased that it will now be on display on the grounds of the Bannatyne family crypt in Ireland. The fact that we are marking the centenary of the end of World War I this year brings extra significance to this agreement.

From a financial viewpoint it would have cost a substantial amount of money per year to keep the staircase in storage so the cost of transferring it to Ireland for public display represents very good value for money for taxpayers,” Cllr Parsons concluded.

The significance of the donation was welcomed by Lord Limerick, a patron of the Trust, who penned a Limerick especially to mark the occasion:

The bells of St Munchin will chime.
They’ll peal out their message in rhyme:
That Limerick cares
For Bannatyne stairs.
And they’ll ring it one rung at a time.

Edmund Limerick

A spokesperson for CDC added, “We are very pleased to have strengthened ties between our Council and the people of Limerick, and we very much hope that the staircase will prove to be a very successful addition to the war memorial being assembled at St Munchin’s Church.

Mr. O’Brien concluded, “It was a pleasure to work with Cotswold District Council and their representatives; their professionalism is an example for others to follow. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make sure projects like this come to fruition so I would like to thank everyone on our Museum Board, Collections Committee and Historical Committee for their unwavering support.